Davone Audio Rithm Speaker
Yes, this seductively curved work of art is a speaker. And, yes, it is one of the most unusual (and stylish) speakers you will come across. Born out of a passion for modern architecture and industrial design and inspired by the work of iconic designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Rithm is the handiwork of aeronautical-engineer-turned-speaker-designer Paul Schenkel, who set out to create an audiophile speaker that would be appreciated as much for its artisanship as for its sound.
As you might expect, building the arc-shaped conversation piece is a painstaking process—one that involves applying pressure to bend multiple layers of pressed walnut and beech veneers and using special glues to bond them together. The result is an acoustic-friendly, vented cabinet that’s rigid (which helps reduce vibrations) and tapered to minimize internal standing waves (which enhances midrange performance). Schenkel closely monitors production in Denmark, which is done in small batches to ensure perfection. No whirring Asian production lines here.
The core components of Rithm are a Norwegian-built 7-inch coaxial driver, chosen for its ability to deliver a precise soundstage and reproduce low frequencies (down to 50 hertz), and a custom crossover to ensure a smooth and balanced transition between woofer and tweeter. An understated matte finish is applied to a fine wood veneer before the driver is loaded into the cabinet, which, by the way, is only 27 inches tall. Light or black-stained oak and walnut finishes are available.
“We recognize that ordinary hi-fi products can seem like mere appliances when placed into well-appointed living and social spaces and, therefore, would be unwelcome,” observes Chris Sommovigo, who heads up the Signal Collection, a Georgia-based distributor of the Davone line. “Rithm is compact enough to avoid becoming an obstacle, yet beautiful enough to be included among a collection of fine furniture. It aims to bring high-fidelity performance to those who value the integration of industrial design in a living space.” Think of Rithm and its minimalist styling as the anti-appliance. Price: $5,500 per pair.